Question: Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services. [BJS 1975] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services.] Answer Article 311 of the constitution accords protection to Civil servants and… Read More »

Question: Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services. [BJS 1975] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services.] Answer Article 311 of the constitution accords protection to Civil servants and the Services. The protection to the civil servants was given for the first time by the Government of India Act, 1919, and then...

Question: Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services. [BJS 1975]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Discuss with the help of decided cases the protection that Article 311 accords to Civil Services.]

Answer

Article 311 of the constitution accords protection to Civil servants and the Services. The protection to the civil servants was given for the first time by the Government of India Act, 1919, and then the Government of India Act, 1935, and is currently provided through Article 311 of the Constitution. These provisions in the form of Constitutional protection are given as under:

Article 311 (1) says that no government employee either of an All-India service or a state government shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to the owner that appointed him/her.

Article 311 (2) says that no civil servant shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which she has been informed of the charges and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

The most notable point is that Article 311 is available only in cases of dismissal, removal, reduction in rank by way of punishment. Thus, it is difficult to determine as to when an order of termination of service or reduction in rank amounts to punishment

In the case of Parshottam Lal Dhingra v. Union of India [AIR 1958 SC 36], the SC in this regard laid down 2 tests to determine when termination is by way of punishment –

  • Whether the servant had a right to hold the post or the rank;
  • Whether he has been visited with evil consequences.

Therefore, if a government servant had a right to hold the post or rank under the terms of any contract of service, or under any rule, governing the service, then the termination of his service or reduction in rank amounts to punishment and he will be entitled to protection under Article 311.

The extent of protection under the provision implies that Article 311 cannot be invoked in cases of compulsory retirement in the public interest, termination of service during probation, or termination of service which was temporary for a fixed period. Although there have been cases where the Supreme Court has extended the use of Article 311 as follows

  1. In case of compulsory retirement – In Baikunth Das v. Chief Medical Officer [(1992) 2 SCC 299] it was held that the matter of compulsory retirement is on the basis of subjective satisfaction and not on the basis of any behavior. The proceedings are also not quasi-judicial and hence the principles of natural justice are not attracted.
  2. In case of termination during probation – In this situation, the government is free to terminate the service of the probationer or temporary worker without the services of Article 311 becoming applicable.

Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-I
  3. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-II
  4. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Constitutional Law Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-06-27T07:23:58+05:30
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